Endo turns to the produce aisle for G-rated visuals in new Peyronie's ad

Imagine having to talk about a disease that makes men's private parts curve unnaturally—without using the usual words—and you'll see why Endo's new Peyronie's ad might at first look like a vegetable commercial.

Featuring cucumbers, carrots, eggplants and zucchini, the ad shows worried men gazing at irregularly shaped produce. They're not concerned about the crooked veggies, though. The ad is more about the fact that, as the male narrator explains, “guys come in all shapes and sizes.”

But sometimes those shapes aren't normal, the narrator points out. A curved erection with a bothersome bump may be a sign of "an addressable medical condition called Peyronie’s disease," he says.

Peyronie's disease is marked by a buildup of scar tissue that causes an abnormal or painful curvature of the penis. Endo, which makes the Peyronie's drug Xiaflex, tested the ad with hundreds of men who'd either been diagnosed with Peyronie’s or suspected they might have the disease.

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“What we learned from them is the new 2019 TV ad had to be conversational, informative and friendly (not alarmist and definitely not humorous),” said Justin Mattice, Endo's executive director of men’s health marketing, in an email interview. “Men want to be spoken to directly, and they like hearing from a man instead of a woman.”

Endo’s director of consumer marketing, Nejla Abbed, added, “In research, men told us this ad gave them hope, as it tells them what they may have is an addressable medical condition, it has a name, and they are not alone.”

Thousands of men have the condition, the ad's narrator notes, letting men know they’re not the only sufferers. The ad also encourages men to specifically seek out a urologist to find out more. Peyronie's disease afflicts up to 13% of the male population, but has a much smaller officially diagnosed rate of less than 1%.

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Xiaflex, which is also approved to treat Dupuytren’s contracture, brought in $185 million through the first nine months of 2018, a 22% increase over the $152 million in sales during the same time period in 2017. Endo attributed its third-quarter Xiaflex growth primarily to “volume growth” in both Peyronie's and Dupuytren's indications.

Mattice called the new TV spot “tastefully pithy,” noting the drugmaker was careful not to minimize the seriousness of the condition. Endo believes the ad has potential for organic media chatter that could boost the impact of its paid placements.

“Given our focus in men’s health, we feel that we are both experienced and uniquely positioned to understand and communicate with men as they age to help them understand their health below the belt,” he said.